“To live together in the world means essentially that a world of things is between those who have it in common, as a table is located between those who sit around it; the world, like every in-between, relates and separates men at the same time.”

Hannah Arendt. The Human Condition.

Instituto MESA is dedicated to transdisciplinary research, projects and publications that foster and deepen encounters between art, culture and society.

MESA Philosophy

Micro-geographies of hope
Drawing on key concepts such as Ernst Bloch’s “principle of hope” and Milton Santos “geography of actions,” a micro-geography of hope seeks a 1:1 human scale as a counterpoint to the monumental via aesthetic and environmental interactions and small socio-political gestures.

Ethic of shared experiences
The process of a collective construction of knowledge grounds an ethical practice that fosters both singularity and solidarity as a means to offer new understandings of the meaning of (the) public both for art and its institutions. In this way, the confluence between the place of art’s creation and reception is re-imagined politically by a public praxis of sharing of multiple voices, by welcoming new forms of production and knowledge circulation both inside and outside the fields of art, culture and education.

From the poetics of infinity to a pedagogy of infinity
An experimental relation between art and education where the processes of creation and subjectivization are intrinsically and mutually affected as open and living discoveries. This convergence of aesthetics, pedagogy and process invokes the practice of Paulo Freire who noted that “the only option for a progressive educational practice will never be anything other than an adventure in unveiling” and the understanding of aesthetic practice as both a finely tuned and unconscious process of “knowing what you are doing without knowing what you are doing” as articulated by Jacques Ranciére.

Collections of experiences
A collection of experiences takes into account the registering of voices and interpretations that constitute and institute the public life of art and its institutions. This curatorial approach conceives of an institutional collection not only as one of an accumulation of objects, but also as a collection of experiences that over the years will institute and deepen the production of critical and public meaning about the reception of art.

Care and belonging
The practices of care and belonging focus on the construction of relations and social bonds in the production and reception of art as places of and opportunities for affection, potential action, and the multiplication of voices and narratives. This reflects an emergent demand for new ways to think and act in the public sphere via an understanding of publicness or an active and processual, rather than fixed, sense of belonging, care and responsibility for being in the world.

Working with the principle of the Moebius Strip
The Moebius Strip’s seemingly two- but actually one-sided surface offers a complex interrelated image / process to think systemically, which counteracts binary systems of historical and socio-cultural oppositions. In so doing, it symbolically breaks down traditional divisions of class and narratives and collapses dichotomies such as inside and outside, subject and object, subject and world, public and private, art and education.


Co-founder & director: Jessica Gogan is a curator and educator and director of the MESA Institute and co-editor of MESA Magazine. She holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Pittsburgh in the USA (2016). Her research and projects explore the interfaces between art and society focusing on practices that traverse the fields of art, curatorship and education. She recently launched the book Domingos da Criação: Uma coleção do experimental em arte e educação, a research and publication project awarded an Itaú Rumos 2016 grant, exploring the participatory happenings Domingos da Criação held at Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro in 1971. She currently co-coordinates the Art_Care Project with Izabela Pucu and is a PNPD/CAPES postdoctoral fellow in the Postgraduate Program in Contemporary Studies of the Arts at UFF.

Co-founder & academic consultant: Luiz Guilherme Vergara He is a professor in the art department and the Postgraduate Program in Contemporary Studies of the Arts at the Federal Fluminense University (UFF). As curator/ director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi (MAC) 2005-2008 he was responsible for curating several exhibitions focusing on the dialogue between the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer and contemporary artistic practices, such as Poetics of the Infinite (2005) and Lygia Clark: Poetic Shelter (MAC, 2006) as well as the outreach initiative Art and Environmental Action (MAC, 1998 -) working with the favela community Morro do Palácio. In 2013, on returning to MAC, he curated exhibitions of the Brazilian artists Alexandre Dacosta, Suzana Queiroga, and Carlos Vergara as well as co-curating the exhibition Joseph Beuys: Res-Publica: Conclamation for A Global Alternative. His research interests focus on the interface between art, museums and society and he is co-editor of Revista MESA.

Co-founder & General Coordinator: Sabrina Curi Graduated in Cultural Production from Fluminense Federal University (2002). She was director of development of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Niterói (2013-2017). She is a producer of MESA Magazine (2010-2018) and has recently worked in the production of the Digital Publication Flipping: Revisiting Pop (2018), in the Art Care Project (2017-2018), at the Flipping Pop International Seminar: Revisiting Pop (2017 / MAM-SP ). She also produced the Experimental Nucleus of Education and Art of MAM-RJ (2009 to 2013), education project for the exhibition “Hélio Oiticica Museum is the World” (Paço Imperial / Casa França Brasil, 2010 ) and The Meaning of the Public in the Art (2013-2014 Prize Funarte).

Curatorial Committee
Angela Mascelani was born in São Paulo and moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1976 after completing her BA in Art Education. She completed a Masters in Visual Anthropology at the School of Fine Arts of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1996 and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the Institute of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the same university in 2000. In 1996 she assumed the curatorship of Casa de Pontal folkloric and popular art museum, actively contributing to the formulation and implementation of a new model of institutional management. Throughout her career she has written articles for newspapers and magazines and worked in various areas as a researcher, filmmaker, educator and curator of exhibitions of both national and international art. She is author of the books: O mundo da Arte Popular Brasileira (2002) and Caminhos da Arte Popular: o Vale do Jequitinhonha (2008). Recent curatorial work includes: O Brasil na arte Popular Brasília, (2010), Máquinas Poéticas – Abraham Palatnik together with the artists Nhô Caboclo, Laurentino, Adalton e Saúba (2010); Farnese de Andrade e os ex-votos (2011/2012) e Criaturas Imaginárias: Manoel Galdino e os contemporâneos Angelo Venosa, Cristina Salgado, Eliane Duarte e Zé Carlos Garcia (2013). She has been curator and director of Casa do Pontal since 2004.

Bia Jabor artist, educator and educational curator, with more than 20 years of experience, with emphasis on idealization, implementation of professional training programs, children’s education, training programs and consultancies. Degree in Artistic Education with Hab. in Plastic Arts, by FAAP / SP. Only once an entrepreneur of space, education and movement, Casa 38. Enter into the School for the School of Visual Arts of the College that was inaugurated in 2017. From 2008 to 2015 was Art and Education Manager of Casa Daros, responsible for educational curatories of the exhibitions, art and education programming and coordination of the Child Education Center of the institution. From 2004 to 2008 she was director of the Education Art Division of the MAC / Niterói and integrator of the museum’s art educators team since 1998. In 2007 she implemented and coordinated the educational program of the Museum of Telecommunications at Oi Futuro / RJ.

Carlos Vergara was born in the city of Santa Maria in Rio Grande do Sul in 1941. He began his career in the 1960s, when as young artist he incorporated resistance to the military dictatorship into his work. In 1965, he participated in the show Opinião 65 at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, considered an historical landmark in the history of Brazilian art. This exhibition prompted the forming of the New Brazilian Figuration movement in which Vergara played a key role along with other artists, such as Antônio Dias, Rubens Gerchmann and Roberto Magalhães, all of whom produced art with strong political content. In the 1970s, Vergara’s work underwent a major change and he began to carve out his own particular space in the history of Brazilian art, mainly through photographs and installations. Since the 1980s, the artist has integrated his extensive travels into his work incorporating experimental techniques with painting and monotype prints. Over the course of his career, Vergara has been involved in more than 180 solo and group shows.

Frederico Coelho is Professor of Literature and Performing Arts at PUC-Rio. Assistant curator at MAM-Rio de Janeiro between 2009 and 2011, Coelho has organized several books and written numerous articles, texts and essays on Brazilian visual arts. He was one of the first curators for the exhibition project Travessias in Bela Maré, a cultural center in Rio de Janeiro’s Maré favela (2011). He is author of the books: Livro ou Livro-me: os escritos babilônicos de Hélio Oiticica (EdUERJ, 2010) and Conglomerado Newyorkaise (with César Oiticica Filho, Azougue, 2013). Since August 2014, he has been Assistant Professor of the Literature, Performing Arts and Postgraduate Courses in Literature, Culture and Contemporaneity (PPGLCC) of the Department of Letters of PUC-Rio. He is post-graduation coordinator lato-sensu of the Department of Letters of PUC-Rio / CCE and co-coordinator of PPGLCC.

Jailson de Souza e Silva has a degree in Geography from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1984), a Masters in Education from the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) of Rio de Janeiro (1994), and Ph.D. in Sociology of Education from PUC (1999). He finished his post doctorate at John Jay College of Criminal Justice – City University of New York. He is Associate Professor at Federal Fluminense University (UFF) and founded in 2001 the Favela Observatory of Rio de Janeiro. He was Secretary of Education of Nova Iguaçu and Executive Sub-Secretary of the State Department of Social Welfare and Human Rights of Rio de Janeiro. He has research and studies published in Urban Studies and Policies focusing on the following subjects: social policies, slums, suburbs, violence, education, and drug trafficking.

Luiz Camillo Osorio has a doctorate in philosophy and is a professor in the Philosophy Department of PUC-Rio. He was the chief curator at the Museum of Modern Art (2009-2015), Rio de Janeiro. He is curator of the PIPA Institute and one of the creators of the Prize. He is author of the following books: Flavio de Carvalho, Cosac & Naify, SP, 2000; Palatnik, Cosac & Naify, SP, 2004; Reasons Critical Zahar, RJ, 2005, and Angelo Venosa, Cosac & Naify, SP, 2008. Osorio has also curated numerous independent projects and exhibitions.

Virgínia Kastrup has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) São Paulo and is Associate Professor at the Graduate Program in Psychology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She is a member of Group for Cognition and Collective Research (NUCC) and is a National Center for Research (CNPq) scholar. Her investigations are focused on the areas of art, the production of subjectivity and visual impairment. She has published: A invenção de si e do mundo (Papyrus, 1999; Authentic, 2007) Políticas da Cognição (Kastrup, Tedesco and Steps, Sulina, 2008). She is one of the organizers of Pistas do Método da Cartografia (Steps, Kastrup and Escóssia, Sulina, 2009) and Exercícios de ver e não ver: arte e pesquisa com pessoas deficientes visuais (Moraes and Kastrup, Nau, 2010) and has written numerous texts in diverse edited collections and specialized magazines.